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While I appreciate the timely arrival of the absentee voting request mailing, it concerns me that the return request requires a stamp. Not everyone keeps stamps or can go out to purchase a stamp. To ensure equitable participation, postage should have been paid. All of our citizens share the right to vote and should not “pay” for that privilege.

Ann Krieger


Pangolins need our protection

For about 80 million years, pangolins have existed as a species. Internationally protected, pangolins (scaly ant eaters) are the only known mammals possessing protective keratin scales (composition of human fingernails) covering their skin. They look like a living pine cone. When attacked, pangolins protect themselves by curling into a tight ball. This makes them vulnerable to poachers.

With illegal help from the internet, lucrative Asian black markets have thrived on sales of pangolin for their scales and meat. Unfortunately, customers erroneously believe that these materials possess curative medicinal properties. This has resulted in near extinction of the pangolins.

Chinese authorities quickly closed the market where the pangolins were sold at the COVID-19 outbreak. This prevented researchers from testing those pangolins. Since last year, researchers identified similarities between the COVID-19 and virus in pangolins seized from anti-smuggling raids two years earlier. This study spawned questions about the virus’ ability to jump between animals. Therefore, to prevent future outbreaks, these researchers urged no more pangolin sales at wet markets.

Will the pandemic worsen the plight of the (shy and solitary) pangolin or actually offer a reprieve? Hopefully, the defenseless pangolin receives a break from ravages of criminal exploitation. President John F. Kennedy supplies advice by paraphrasing Luke 12:48 as follows: “For of those to whom much is given, much is required.” Emotional intelligence encourages empathy toward the pangolin. Yet, our species exhibits a persistent tendency toward destructive behavior. Do we choose these harmful ways or are they just hardwired into our DNA? Charles Spurgeon answers: “Beware of no man more than of yourself; we carry our worst enemies within us.”

Roger Combs


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